How to Use Mulch in Flower Beds and in the Garden

If you’ve read a lot of gardening how-to articles including on this site, you’ve probably noticed that mulch appears very frequently. Its ability to hydrate your plants as well as keep weeds in the bay makes mulch a popular (albeit frustrating) gardening product.

But there are different types of mulch that serve different purposes, and you can’t just slap any amount of any kind and expect it to work wonders. In a recent article for Well + Good, Francesca Krempa spoke with a gardening expert to remove dirt from mulch. Here’s what you need to know.

Mulch types

Basically, there are two broad categories of mulch: organic and inorganic. Organic mulch is made up of plant and tree materials such as shredded leaves, wood chips, shredded bark and needles, according to Angelo Randachi , chief grower and horticultural expert at Earth’s Ally. On the other hand, inorganic mulch is made up of man-made materials such as rubber, plastic, and other landscape fabrics.

Each type has its own pros and cons. “If you want to improve the soil, use one of the many organic mulches available, Randachi told Well + Good . “When they break, they enrich your soil.” In the meantime, inorganic mulch will not improve the quality of your soil, but it protects the flower beds well and prevents weeds from growing.

How much mulch to use

Ideally, Randachi says, you need to evenly distribute two to four inches of mulch across your beds. “If you are using a thinner mulch, use 1/2″ or less and apply to a depth of 2 “, he told Well + Good . “If you are using mulch such as pine nuggets, apply 3-4” deep. “

Spreading mulch

You should also pay attention to where you put the mulch. For a well + good :

Randaci advises never to mulch directly around the stems or trunks of any plant, flower, tree or bush. Instead, move the mulch 4 inches away from the stems of annuals and perennials and at least 6 inches away from trees and shrubs to avoid damaging the plant’s structure.

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